What’s Wrong With My Dryer?
Why is it taking a long time to dry?
It happens to the best of us here in Greensboro. You’re halfway through a load of laundry and notice the dryer is taking its sweet time. You open the door to find damp clothes sticking to the sides of the drum.
Now the whole operation is backed up! You can handle having to resort to the clothes-line-and-pin technique, but while we’re waiting, let’s figure out what’s wrong with your dryer.
Does it heat up at all?
If the dryer isn’t heating up at all, the problem is most likely a defective part. If the dryer is heating up, but not enough to dry your clothes, it’s probably an airflow issue. Worst case scenario— your dryer needs to be replaced entirely.
If your dryer runs on electricity, it’s possible the dryer isn’t receiving adequate voltage. You can check this off your list of potential problems in three easy steps.
- Double check to see if your dryer is plugged in completely.
- Open the circuit breaker panel and take a look. Make sure the proper circuit breakers are switched on.
- Lastly, make sure there aren’t any blown fuses.
If the dryer runs on gas, make sure there are no kinks in the line and the valve is turned on.
Hopefully, something simple like this is the reason why your dryer isn’t working properly, although if it’s an electrical problem, it’s more likely that the dryer wouldn’t turn on at all. Nevertheless, give it a check to rule it out.
If that doesn’t fix the problem, it could also be the heating element, the thermal fuse, thermostat, or the timer motor that’s causing the issue. Inspecting any of these will require the dryer cabinet to be opened up and testing the components with a multimeter.
Unfortunately, almost all dryer parts cannot be repaired. They’ll need to be replaced. It’s usually best to call a specialist for this, unless you understand what needs to be done and how to do it safely. Before you break out your credit card, let’s look at airflow issues.
How long has it been since your dryer vents were cleaned?
On the simple side of things, you might’ve forgotten to clean the lint trap. If the screen is clean, consider the last time you had your vents cleaned by a technician.
Dirty vents typically result in a dryer that takes all day to do what usually takes an hour. This costs extra time and money, and what’s worse, it puts your entire household at a greater risk of a house fire from all the lint that builds up.
According to The National Fire Protection Association, in 2010 almost 17,000 home fires involved dryers or washing machines, resulting in nearly 400 injuries, more than 50 deaths, and millions of dollars in property damage. The leading cause among dryer fires was recorded as “failure to clean”
Lint will build up inside dryer vents over time and force your dryer to work extra hard to do its job. Since lint is extremely flammable, if enough builds up in the vents, it could ignite. Some warning signs that it’s time to have your vents clean are:
- It takes multiple cycles to dry your clothes
- The room or the dryer itself is warmer than usual
- There’s a musty smell near the dryer or on your clothes
- There’s a burning smell
- You can’t recall the last time they were cleaned
What To Do?
If anything on the list above stands out, call us for an appointment. We’ll make sure your dryer vent receives the following:
- Preparation: We make sure the vent is secured and taped before we start any cleaning.
- Vacuum and Brushes: We use a vacuum specifically designed for lint removal and run brushes along the entire length of the dryer duct.
- Air Compression: If there are any stubborn obstructions, we take care of them with a high-powered air compressor.
- Cleanup: We leave your laundry room cleaner than we found it.
Prevention costs a fraction of what repairs do.
The inner workings of your home are typically out of sight and out of mind, which makes a lot of sense. If your focus was on what’s behind your walls, what’s draining your sinks, or what’s clearing your dryer, you’d be surrounded by systems that are failing inside your own home.
When everything is running smoothly, it requires minimal effort to keep it that way. It’s only when something jumps out of line that you’re forced to dedicate your time to it until it’s back in its place. The easiest way to keep maintenance to a minimum is to keep a regular maintenance schedule. This allows your dryer to do what it does best while you keep your sites on what matters most— life.